Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Yol - Everyday Rituals
CDR. No Label.

Yol & Posset - A Watched Pot Never
CDR. No Label.

Yol & Half an Abortion - The Designated Driver
CDR. No Label.

I get the feeling that if you ever invited Yol around for tea he’d be out of his chair as soon as your back was turned clanging together the fire hearth brush and pan set or screaming up the chimney to check out the acoustics. I’m not saying he’s a lunatic or not fully house trained yet but I do get the feeling he’s on a constant mission to create noise at all times and is forever curious as to what does what and what makes what. If you see what I mean. If you’ve yet to come across Yol [and if you’ve been reading these pages over the last couple of years then you really have no excuse] he’s the man from Hull who’s a cross between an angry Phil Minton and The New Blockaders. Now read on.

The noises he makes with his mouth combine strangulated gurgles and Tourettes outbursts with wails of anguish and kitchen utensil abuse. He’s a man forever losing his temper with a stubborn jam jar lid, he’s pushing a mop bucket around a tiled floor, he’s dropping things, clanging things but most of the time he’s emptying his lungs in the most violent manner you could ever possibly imagine. If you thought Junko was extreme then you need to hear some Yol.

Even after all these years, well three, since what was Neck Vs Throat I’ve been held in awe at the sheer aliveness of Yol’s work. His live performances are short, abrupt things where you begin to wonder if he’s in need of some kind of psychiatric help. Its a rare thing to find someone who gives so much of themselves in the live situation, which goes some way to explain why his performances are over and done with within the space of ten minutes. If you’ve gone to the bar and then for a piss you’ve usually missed half of it at least.

I’ve seen him live a couple of times now, once solo and once most memorably, with the Filthy Turd who’s natural ability to cause both unease and hilarity amongst audiences fitted in well with a writhing, angular, intense Yol. Its natural that musicians and performers should choose to collaborate and it would appear that Yol has no shortage of willing accomplices. With both Posset [dictaphone, cassettes] and Half an Abortion [noise, what else] he’s found two who’d invite him around for tea any day.

‘A Watched Pot Never’ finds Yol gurgling/shouting in a now trademark almost stutter shout as Posset strains the capstans with a smear of squeals and flutter; that’s ‘Pigeon Film’, ‘Inappropriate Pause’ hits the feedback button and sees Yol go for the Jap noise vocal dollar as Possett weaves in all manner of cassette fuckery with short bursts of this and slowed down bits of that. ‘Sit Down and Shut Up’ feels almost cerebral in comparison until we’re back in the TNB shed with the scraping and rattling of things, mainly cymbal like, mainly noisy, never dull. 

Two live tracks bookend ‘The Designated Driver’ with the first ‘Sicked Up’ finding Yol in the midst of some, at times, fierce blasts of distorted ice cream van toons shouting, ‘SICKED UP BURGER!’ before releasing a stomach deep scream that would be the envy of any death metal band. If anything the title track is even more visceral with Yol struggling with the words ‘Im the designated driver’ until eventually he spits out ‘YOU BASTARD!’ in what, it has to be said is a rare outing of profanity. Pete Cann [Half an Abortion] layers on plenty of muck until at its end there’s just Yol struggling with his last wretch. When all goes quiet you hear Cann in a surprised voice say ’where are you going?’ The two tracks sandwiched between finds Cann rummaging about in a box of knick knacks as Yol suffers a heart attack, bits of words stuttering out of his mouth, foam gathering at its edges, mouthing angry baby words, dying and being resurrected just in time to wretch it one more time. The longest track on here ‘Bang’ wanders into violin scrape Dada absurdist territory which for once is respite.

When sailing under his own steam Yol tends to introduce more verbal dexterity into the mix hence such gripping lines as ‘Its all fun and games until someone loses an eye’ [on ‘Fun and Games’] which was probably recorded at the Wharf Chambers and which it looks like I missed. What makes Yol stand out from the rest of the noise merchants and leads me to believe we have real talent here are tracks such as ‘Poundshop Gamelan’ which highlights Yol's febrile imagination and creates in two and half minutes a link between performance artist, austerity Britain and a grimy Hull meets exotic Java. A sentence I thought I’d never write. Last track ‘Bucket Ritual’ is as you’d expect Yol versus bucket in another live outing. As Yol rattles and smashes to the ground a galvanized mop bucket he screams, growls, yelps and stutters. Words are spat out; ‘the rain is expected to get HEAVIER AS THE DAY GOES ON’. Sometimes he struggles to get the words out, gasping for breath, a small string of bells tinkle, the bucket goes to the floor once again. ‘ITS JUST A BIT OF BANTER’ as a bastard file goes down the side of the bucket releasing painful, grating squeals. The cut short audience response at its end is genuinely enthusiastic. Go see him live should you get the chance or invite him round to scream up your chimney.


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